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Global earthquake fatalities and population

Earthquake Spectra

By:
and
DOI: 10.1193/1.4000106

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Abstract

Modern global earthquake fatalities can be separated into two components: (1) fatalities from an approximately constant annual background rate that is independent of world population growth and (2) fatalities caused by earthquakes with large human death tolls, the frequency of which is dependent on world population. Earthquakes with death tolls greater than 100,000 (and 50,000) have increased with world population and obey a nonstationary Poisson distribution with rate proportional to population. We predict that the number of earthquakes with death tolls greater than 100,000 (50,000) will increase in the 21st century to 8.7±3.3 (20.5±4.3) from 4 (7) observed in the 20th century if world population reaches 10.1 billion in 2100. Combining fatalities caused by the background rate with fatalities caused by catastrophic earthquakes (>100,000 fatalities) indicates global fatalities in the 21st century will be 2.57±0.64 million if the average post-1900 death toll for catastrophic earthquakes (193,000) is assumed.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Global earthquake fatalities and population
Series title:
Earthquake Spectra
DOI:
10.1193/1.4000106
Volume
29
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
EERI
Publisher location:
Oakland, CA
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Science Center
Description:
21 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Earthquake Spectra
First page:
155
Last page:
175